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Blotted Science

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Blotted Science The Machinations Of Dementia album cover
4.10 | 164 ratings | 9 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Synaptic Plasticity (6:03)
2. Laser Lobotomy (5:19)
3. Brain Fingerprinting (3:34)
4. Oscillation Cycles (1:37)
5. Activation Synthesis Theory (8:09)
6. REM (1:11)
7. Night Terror (4:53)
8. Bleeding In The Brain (4:57)
9. Vegetation (1:37)
10. Narcolepsy (2:53)
11. EEG Tracings (4:03)
12. Sleep Deprivation (0:36)
13. The Insomniac (3:56)
14. Amnesia (1:59)
15. Adenosine Breakdown (3:08)
16. Adenosine Buildup (3:17)

Total Time 57:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Ron Jarzombek / guitar, producer
- Alex Webster / bass
- Charlie Zeleny / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Anthony Alanis

CD EclecticElectric ‎- EE2007 (2007, US)

2LP Antithetic Records ‎- ANTI-019 (2013, US)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BLOTTED SCIENCE The Machinations Of Dementia ratings distribution

(164 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

BLOTTED SCIENCE The Machinations Of Dementia reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ron Jarzombek is an extraordinary guitar talent who has been tearing it up on the heavier side of the progressive scene for awhile, and this project with bassist Alex Webster and drummer Charlie Zeleny is just one more feather in an increasingly impressive hat. The music is complex enough to appease tech-heads everywhere but is also quite definitely metal with a capital M, as evidenced by the chunks of cast iron that spew from the trio's album 'The Machinations of Dimentia'.

The music reveals what is possible in prog metal at its most genuine and is laced with many side-trips and modular explorations, mechanical sounds, space, and fusion as heard on the first cut 'Synaptic Plasticity'. 'Brain Fingerprinting' goes deeper, getting into unexpected polymeters and little electronic details, Jarzombek's guitar switching from monstrous to gentle at any given moment, showing us the sh*t with a laser touch and why he's a talent to be reckoned with. More majestic mayhem on 'Oscillation Cycles', and the head-splitting 'Activation Synthesis Theory' at eight minutes is an easy contender for Best ProgMetal Shred award. 'Night Terror' has hints of Satriani, 'Bleeding in the Brain' does its very best thrash impression, 'Vegetation' calms the stomach as does 'Narcolepsy', a beautiful flight through a night sky. The preoccupation with slumber continues on 'The Insomniac' with furious playing and echoes of Luke Jaeger's work on the Sleep Terror project, and 'Amnesia' is more a mental breakdown than music. The record ends with the awesome 'Adenosine Breakdown/Buildup' featuring distinctive Jarzombek guitar stylings.

Not to be taken while trying to remain sane or calm, Blotted Science will surely rip you a new one and must be heard by anyone interested in the madness of precision.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Blotted Science is the new project from guitarist Ron Jarzombek ( Watchtower, Spastic Ink) and Bassist Alex Webster ( Cannibal Corpse). Charlie Zeleny (Behold...the Arctapus) plays drums. This is tech metal of the highest standard, but it differs a little from the usual tech metal madness. First of all there are no vocals on the album, and secondly allthough this is very technical music, itīs still listenable. I think much credit for this should go to Alex Webster who probably have pulled the project in a more "simple" direction. Actually the album is pretty heavy, so donīt expect this to sound like fairy haired prog metal. Itīs more in the vein of heavier Spastic Ink.

I enjoy this album very much, but it is not a masterpiece for two reasons. First of all, I think vocals would have done the trick to some of these songs. They would have been complete. Donīt misunderstand me though, they work perfectly fine without the vocals, itīs just me who likes vocals. The other thing I will complain about is the lenght of the album. With demanding music like this I think itīs a bit much with 16 songs even though some of them are short. I know this is an eternal discussion, but I generally donīt think albums should last more than 45 minutes with a few exceptions.

This is a 4 star album though. Itīs one of the best I have heard in this genre. Ron never seems to disappoint.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Thankyou UMUR for the recommendation ! This is Ron Jarzombek's project and the guy is simply a genius when it comes to playing the guitar. So inventive as many know from his days with WATCHTOWER and SPASTIC INK. Well in my opinion he's topped everything he's ever done with this album. He has Alex Webster (CANNIBAL CORPSE) on bass. Ron composed all the tracks with Alex helping out on seven of them. On drums we have BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS' Charlie Zeleny. It was funny talking to this young guy at the "Sony Store" the other day. We get talking about music and he tells me he plays guitar and his favourite band is MESHUGGAH. Well we knew a lot of the same bands and I asked him if he knew BLOTTED SCIENCE and he laughs and says "Yeah that's Charlie's band". He had already told me he was a fan of BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS. Anyway this is an all instrumental album with the theme being the inner workings of the physical mind. It's very cool to read in the liner notes a detailed "Observation" and "Clinical Synopsis" for each song title.This is incredibly technical and heavy Metal / Fusion, but the fact it's melodic makes this darn near perfect for my tastes.

"Synaptic Plasticity" opens with outbursts of power that come and go as the guitar plays underneath.Then it all kicks in with an awesome display. This sounds so good cranked up. It's heavy duty 2 minutes in. Check out the bass before 2 1/2 minutes and later at 3 minutes ! Then check out Ron before 4 minutes just shredding ! Dude ! "Laser Lobotomy" has this killer guitar intro as drums and bass join in. It gets heavier. It settles after 2 minutes but it doesn't last long. Ripping guitar after 3 minutes and later. Unreal. "Brain Fingerprinting" opens with this guitar line as outbursts of power come and go until it stays. Check out the drum work. It settles some and I really like the way this song changes and evolves. Amazing guitar late. It blends into "Oscillation Cycles" as it turns into an all out assault. It's doom-like late. "Activation Synthesis Theory" is the longest tune at over 8 minutes.The guitar makes some noise then we get what sounds like a heart beat. It starts to beat faster then crunch, crunch and wreckage. So cool ! Heaviness follows. A furious attack before 4 1/2 minutes followed a minute later by a crushing soundscape that causes maximum damage.The guitar cries out in anguish 6 1/2 minutes in. "R.E.M." features outbursts of rage as the music box-like sound plays. The rage wins. "Night Terror" opens with ominous guitar then it must be open season because the metal starts to fly.

"Bleeding In The Brain" is dramatic and desperate. Amazing tune. They're on fire before 4 minutes. Let them burn ! Not worthy ! "Vegetation" features some tasteful guitar (shocking I know) in this mellow tune. "Narcolepsy" kicks in heavily rather quickly. Check it out a minute in. It settles again as contrasts continue. It's like thunder and lightning as this violent storm wreaks destruction. A calm follows but not for long. "E.E.G. Tracings" opens with some devestating guitar, heaviness follows. We're all going to die ! These guys are insane ! "Sleep Deprivation" is spacey and laid back. "The Insomniac" is heavy with guitar then it turns spacey as contrasts continue. Huge bass after 2 minutes. Killer sound late as drums pound relentlessly. "Amnesia" has some nice deep bass lines to open as guitar and heaviness joins in and trash the place. "Adenesine Breakdown" is laid back with lots of bass. It's building. Here we go ! "Adenosine Buildup" is like listening to a stampede. It settles some. Love the guitar. It calms right down to end it.

A masterpiece if i've ever heard one.This sounds all too perfect. By the way Ron Jarzombek produced it as well.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'The Machinations Of Dementia' - Blotted Science (10/10)

To put it simply, this is the most accomplished technical metal release ever created.

While the genre of technical progressive metal has gotten a bad name in the eyes of some for it's typically overindulgent and mindless showboating and lack of substantial depth, there will always be bands, or albums that really excel and break through the barriers of convention to deliver something that really blows the doors away. While the metal world is full of greatly talented, skilled and even genius musicians, I will admit that there have been only a handful of albums that have impressed me so much on a musical level in instrumental metal, and arguably none that have blown me away as much on a technical level as Blotted Science does however. While this is not going to be the order of the day for everyone, 'The Machinations Of Dementia' is easily one of the greatest instrumental albums ever made.

Essentially the brainchild of virtuoso guitarist Ron Jarzombek (of Watchtower/Spastic Ink fame), Blotted Science was created out of the urge to make a progressive metal supergroup of some of the most talented and skilled musicians in the scene. What might come as a bit of a shock to the progressive side of the prog metal scene is that the bassist chosen to be part of this project is Alex Webster, of Cannibal Corpse. While Cannibal Corpse isn't exactly known for their penchant of thought-provoking themes and music, they are indeed talented musicians and Alex Webster's frantic bass work steals the show here. With a presence much greater here than on most other albums, the technical bass display adds a dimension to the music that really compliments Jarzombek's left-of-center guitar playing. Add in some near-obsessive mathematical drumming from Charlie Zeleny (of Behold... The Arctopus) and Blotted Science comes together to produce something that is nearly unparelleled in terms of it's complexity and chaos.

Although the music is entirely instrumental, the concept of mental illness and psychology flows throughout the album, as is conveyed through the song titles. As with all great concept pieces, the music reflects the nature of the subject matter; frenetic work, crushing heaviness and mathematically impossible polyrhythms give 'Machinations' a very unsettling and disturbing feel to it. While there are a few tracks that stand out on their own as individual songs ('Laser Lobotomy,' 'Night Terror') the album generally flows together as a long piece. While such complexity and technicality can be overwhelming over the course of fifty-odd minutes, the high level of compositional quality and experimentation lies throughout.

Possibly best described as an 'instrumental technical death metal' album, Blotted Science gets very heavy amongst the technicality. 'The Machinations Of Dementia' is an insanely complex and immersive listen. Any fans of progressive metal should find something to love here, but make no mistake; you'll be exhausted by the end of it.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Blotted Scince is a technical progressive metal band from USA, featuring well known musicians from this zone, mostly from extreme bands, like Ron Jarzombek , the brain of the band coming from Watchtower and Spastilc Ink, bassist from death metal band Cannibal Corpse - Alex Webster and on drums the excellent Chris Adler from Nile and Hate Eternal. So, what do we expect from the album named The machinations of dementia, and implicit from the music, well, technical to extreme , instrumetal album all, with powerfull arrangements, bursting guitars, with some here and there fusion elements added, make from this album a total winner to my ears. What I don't like at some point, is that the album is to long, and here and there to much the same playing, but nevertheless great in the end. I like the album, but I don't considered to be a masterpiece of the genre, realy, I know more eleborated albums in same vein, more diverse and intristing. The musicianship is excellent of course, because all are professional musicians with years behind in musical bussines, musicaly speaking the album is very jazzy sometimes combined with very technical progressive metal parts, pleasent most of the time, but not groundbreaking, at least for me. It took me a lots of spins 'till I fully get the album entirely. Similar bands, Canvas Solaris, Behold... The Arctopus. 3.5, maybe rounded to 4 this time only.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The metal shredding on "The Machinations of Dimentia" is akin to having your head lobotomised with a surgical drill. The intensity of the sound is mind numbing, and you will love every minute of it if you are a technical metal addict. Every track is technically precise and full of surprising twists and turns. The bass is jack hammer pounding at times as distorted riffs grind powerfully through the brain. It is little wonder the music is this brutal coming from the hands of extreme bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Watchtower, Spastic Ink, Obscura and Hate Eternal.

Tracks such as 'Synaptic Plasticity', 'EEG Tracings', 'Activation Synthesis Theory' and 'The Insomniac' absolutely annihilate with power shredding and some of the most incredible lead guitar work on the planet. Every track has astonishing dextrous guitars, drum blast beats and hammer smashed basslines. The furious attack of stop start riffs may be too extreme for some but what really draws me to this Meshuggah like band is the fact that they are devoid of any vocals. There are none so there is no interference with the mind blowing metal. Too often great bands are ruined in my opinion by screamo or gravel gargling vocals and when these are removed the band is simply brilliant.

There are moments that allow the music to breathe such as the dreamy guitar picking on 'Adenosine Breakdown' and even jazz nuances abound on this track, before it revs into high gear and spirals wildly out of control. The screeches of guitar distortion are joined by delirious off beat signatures and polymeters. The axe man is a master of rhythmic precision and very complex patterns, none other than guitarist extraordinaire Ron Jarzombek, and he is joined by Alex Webster on bass and Charlie Zeleny on drums. Together they are a glorious force of killer metal.

'Amnesia' begins with incredible bass that is as good as I have heard, and then manic frenetic lead screams over a breakneck speed riff. This is intense wall to wall shredding and blast beats. Everything is going at warp speed and it makes the heart race quicker as the grinding pounds. 'Laser Lobotomy'features Slayer-esque lead work and riffing throughout, as fast as you would need, and yet maintains some Steve Vai type lead breaks and absolutely flawless technical rhythms.

This is one album to get hold of for shred heads and is definitely some of the most technical metal I have ever heard. Skull crushing metal from beginning to end with relentless brutality, but there is a market for this and without vocals it is all the better. Not for the faint hearted but an important album for the development of extreme metal.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Technical metal jam sessions are a dime a dozen at this time in the 21st century with countless examples of instrumental wankery showcasing the virtuosic abilities of the musician's involved like an Olympic training session in the hope of winning a gold medal however without a lead vocalist to offer some kind of emotional connection to the extreme freneticism that can result, many of these bands tend to forget that someone else out there is supposed to be listening to what their crafting and much of it seems to exist in a self-made bubble. Luckily that isn't always the case.

Once in a while a team of seasoned masters congregate to create bona fide craftsmanship and artisan amperage which results in a ridiculous fun listen although the music churns out some of the most demanding technical passages allowed by law. BLOTTED SCIENCE was a short lived act but in its short existence cranked out one killer full length album followed by another shorter length EP. This trio was formed in San Antonio, TX by Watchtower and Spastic Ink shredder Ron Jarzombek, one of modern metal's most innovative guitar masters who helped push progressive metal into the limelight with Watchtower's 1989 extravaganza 'Control And Resistance' as well as going on to play with Gordian Knot and Spastic Ink amongst others.

In order to make this a band album and not just a guitar demo for the next tech death metal band, Jarzombek solicited the help of two other seasoned instrument abusers to bring BLOTTED SCIENCE into existence. Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster fit in perfectly and after Hate Eternal's Derek Roddy and Lamb of God's Chris Adler opted out, the slot of drum skin abuser in chief was handed to Charlie Zeleny of Behold'. The Arctopus. With a trio of music mangling maniacs in tandem, it was guaranteed that this would be a wild ride and on the sole full-length album THE MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA, the listener is guaranteed to enter a frenetic time signature rich tech extreme metal with an incessant flow of angular rhythms, staccato stop / start outbursts whizzing by at faster than the speed of light tempos.

While many instrumental tech albums are steeped in neoclassical riff attacks, THE MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA succeeds in its varied structures that are based on the jittery complexities of jazz underpinnings while dressed up in ridiculously fast guitar rampage of thrash, death and progressive metal riff attacks while the bass and drumming antics exist in their own independent realities but are dialed into create a uniform symbiotic effect. While similar to bands like Animals As Leaders and Liquid Tension Experiment, BLOTTED SCIENCE mastered the art of keeping the tracks engaging with accessible hooks and unexpected twists and turns that manage to remain innovative throughout the album's run however at a near hour of playing time, it does become enervating to absorb such frenetic wankery.

A classic in the world of jazz-fusion meets tech metal, THE MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA remains a favorite for those who love prog induced high octane metal that doesn't wimp out for one moment despite incorporating softer passages that break the monotony of the one-dimensionality that instrumental tech metal can often offer. BLOTTED SCIENCE dished out an amazing delivery of tracks on this one. Jazz metal tracks laced with math rock, progressive rock and hints of death, thrash and even classical elements, MACHINATIONS is a stellar release worthy of the high praise it has received over the years and stands the test of time that it has so far been released and a much more engaging instrumental experience than many similar albums of its ilk. Perhaps not quite the masterpiece it's made out to be, it's nonetheless an excellent example of three top tier performers working in tandem to create a behemoth of bountiful bombast.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I'm torn as to whether I give this 4 or 5 stars. I'd give it a 4.5 if I could. This genre of music is not for everyone. As such I have a hard time giving it a 5 star rating which indicates that it is an album for the ages - "one every prog fan should hear". However, for this genre of music... i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1243018) | Posted by Jordan677778 | Monday, August 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I came across Blotted Science based on a recommendation by the iTunes store. I was the owner of the amazing album by Behold...The Arctopus, and the Genius app in iTunes suggested i Pick up Blotted Science. Man - thanks very much, Genius. This album is amazing. Being a huge fan of prog, metal a ... (read more)

Report this review (#283742) | Posted by MusicMan3172 | Thursday, May 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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